"Respectful and nurturing interactions
At Learning Circle Preschool, we believe that before children can learn, they need to know that school is an emotionally secure and safe place. Feelings of security are founded on nurturing, supportive and individualized interactions between teachers and children. We offer children a model of respectful and empathetic relationships, as they are encouraged to develop a sense of community and belonging in school.
We support an anti-bias approach to curriculum development that encourages the sharing of different perspectives and feelings among children, and involves children directly in conflict resolution and in conversations about fairness, as they become able to participate. We strive to help children find common ground in shared experiences as we support an appreciation of the rich diversity among individuals.
The school places great emphasis on individual attention. The teachers at the Learning Circle use an emergent curriculum model, an on-going process that bases curriculum choices on current observations of each child’s use of materials, interests, and interactions with peers. From this starting point, projects are developed that are engaging and meaningful to the children.
Environment as teacher
In every classroom at Learning Circle Preschool the "environment is the third teacher." Teachers make environmental choices purposefully, assuring that the space is welcoming and clearly organized. The variety of classroom centers and activities that are available each day helps assure that the environment is content rich, providing children a range of opportunities to engage in focused play, conversation, and exploration. Teachers also plan with each child’s skills and needs in mind, so that the experiences offered balance the need for practice with the need for challenge as children move forward in their physical, social, intellectual, and emotional, development.
Creativity and self expression
We believe that children need time, on-going opportunities, and a structure that invites them, to engage in activities that support creative self-expression. Each classroom offers children free access to open-ended materials using media in the visual arts, music, creative movement, and dramatic play. Teacher directed activities complement child-initiated play to offer guidance and stimulation in these areas through classroom projects, whole school presentations, and small group experiences. The processes of creative engagement take precedence over any products that may emerge.
Self reflection and validation
We believe that when children have the opportunity to think about their play, the potential for learning is deepened. Children are encouraged to talk about their play with teachers and with other children. They are encouraged to document their own experience by drawing pictures, helping to choose the subject of photos of their important work, or dictating words about their processes and stories that teachers can write down to share with others.
We believe that participating in small groups is an invaluable support and stimulus to each child’s development of language, cooperative skills, and problem-solving abilities. As the children work together, they think about the experiences or materials at hand with other children who share their interests, and learn from each other.
Two Way Communication and Support
We believe that in order to offer children the best possible program in school, we need to be certain that there is meaningful and on-going communication with parents. Parents must feel their insights and perspectives are valued. We work in partnership with parents on behalf of their children. In order to offer opportunities to educate parents about each child’s program and about general developmental issues, the school offers workshops for parents, maintains a lending library of child development literature and books for children, and publishes a monthly newsletter. These support and enhance the direct communication systems established by the teachers for each classroom.
Excerpted from the preschool's website